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Budget should focus on productive investment: HIA
Released 9 May 2011

It is essential that the upcoming federal budget focuses on more than an attempt at returning to surplus in record time, according to the HIA.    

HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale said it is an important goal to balance the budget over the course of the economic cycle.

"However, any move to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13 that is achieved by cutting or neglecting the urgent need for productive investment in core areas such as housing would be counter-productive and short-sighted.

"HIA reiterates that the timing could not be worse to strip any incentives out of the housing market and HIA would be disappointed to see any reduction in what little resourcing there currently is for housing-related portfolios.”

Dale said this year is all but guaranteed to be one of the weakest this decade in terms of new home building and comes at a time of a large and growing housing shortage, high rents, and poor affordability

“Instead of concentrating on slashing and reaping, this year’s budget should accelerate reforms, including in housing supply, and in productive investment including in skills and infrastructure. This will not only help ensure Australians have access to life’s essentials including housing, but will help lift Australia’s productivity.”